Government Week – Totalitarianism

GovernmentGovernment week starts off with one of the most vilified forms known to man, Totalitarianism. A number of government types fall under this general umbrella including monarchy, fascism, nazism, and Soviet Union and Chinese style communism. All of these states are defined by the attempt of government to have complete control over aspect of its citizens lives.

The official definition of totalitarianism is: Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible.

This usually includes state controlled mass media which the United States Constitution forbids. There is generally only a single political party to which all citizens who hope to advance socially, financially and politically, must belong. It often uses what is called personal cultism. This is essentially making the leader or leaders of the states godlike. We saw this idea as far back as ancient Greece and continuing all the way through modern North Korea.

There are generally severe restrictions on speech against the party in power which again the U.S. Constitution forbids. Another hallmark is mass surveillance of its citizens. Again the U.S. Constitution forbids this. Anyone getting the idea that the Founding Fathers knew what they were about?

Totalitarian regimes generally control all aspects of the economy and use terror as a weapon to keep the population in line. It was formulated as a political concept in Italy in the 1920’s although it has existed in a defacto manner since people first assembled. Benito Mussolini said, Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

There are differences between Authoritarian Regimes and Totalitarian Regimes but I’m hoping only to give a general outline of the various forms of government this week so if the topic interests you I’d suggest a full perusal of the Wikipedia articles.

An interesting book, which I haven’t read, called The True Believer by an equally interesting man Eric Hoffer, suggests that totalitarian regimes often have their roots in picturing western style republics as soft, decadent, and selfish. We see those argument today in the Middle East where Totalitarianism still thrives. I’ll be talking about Theocracy later this week.

I hope this gives you a better idea of what other people are saying when the compare someone to a Nazi or a Soviet Style Communist. Let me know if you think this was helpful with the poll below and Like, Tweet, Comment, share, or otherwise freely use the media the Constitution guarantees.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist